Written by Godfrey AKON

NUC processing 272 applications for new universities

The National Universities Commission, NUC, has said it is currently processing 272 applications for various new universities in the country.


Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, disclosed this in Abuja while issuing a letter of approval to Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State for the State’s University located in Talata Mafara.


Nigeria currently has 162 private and public universities spread across the country, but stakeholders believe that the number is inadequate to provide access for the teeming candidates seeking university education each year.


Rasheed said 41 of the universities are owned by the federal government with one university in each of the 36 states of the country and one in the Federal Capital Territory, University of Abuja; as well as the National Open University and the Military and Police academies located in Kaduna and Kano respectively.


“As at now, there are 46 universities owned by 35 states in this country, most of the states have one university but a few of them have two. There are also 74 private universities as at today, including two universities for medical sciences, one in Port Harcourt One in Lagos.


“What is interesting is that the concentration of these universities are in the south; 34 or 35 of them are in the South West, about 13 or 14 are in the south east, about 13 in the South-South, about 11 here in the North Central largely in Illorin, Lokoja, Abuja axis.


“And then two in the North East and then only one private university in the whole of North West geopolitical Zone and at is the one in Katsina. Currently we are processing 272 applications for various universities and at least two, three or four of them are from Kano and Kaduna. So we hope there may be a few more,” he said.


Speaking on the newly established Zamfara state university, the NUC boss expressed belief that when the university takes off, everybody will see the merit of long planning, urging the state government to take full advantage of the establishment of the university and contribute its quota to advance the course of education.


He said NUC’s approval of Zamfara State University makes it the 47th state university and 162 university in the country, adding that JAMB, TETFund and NYSC had been notified of the establishment of the university.


“With effect from Monday, March 12, the Zamfara State University is approved as the 47th state university and also 162 universities in Nigeria; Zamfara is the last state to establish a university. But the establishment is apt when you will have to key into the reform programme the NUC is having now and will be of benefit to you,” he said


Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, in his remarks, said the establishment of the university was the result of long term planning to boost the knowledge base of the state, stressing that a committee set up on the establishment of the institution had recommended a conventional university.


Yari expressed hope that the university would offer courses that will meet the manpower needs of the state and bring about increased development in education.


The governor disclosed that his government had set aside N3billion as take-off grant for the university, stating that “out of this N3billion, N1billion will be for staff training, N1billion for procurement of equipment and the other N1billion as stabilisation fund.”


He further disclosed that a 350 beds hospital is under construction, which will take off as a university teaching hospital.







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